Like most of the European Union, Spain uses the Euro as its currency. You’ll see the Euro represented by both the symbol – € – and the initials: EUR. You’ll find the lower denominations in use every day. The higher €100 and €200 notes are less common and the €500 is rarely seen and scheduled to be phased out by the end of 2018. Each note is a slightly different size, starting with the smallest €5 and going up through 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. They are also strikingly different colors which helps differentiate them.
Euro coins in Spain show images of Spanish culture and influential leaders. The 1 and 2 Euro coins feature King Philip VI who succeeded his father to the throne in 2014 and is known for his work to support philanthropic causes and to promote international fellowship among Spanish-speaking countries. The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins feature Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His novel Don Quixote is considered a founding classic of Western literature. The 1, 2 and 5 cent pieces feature the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela.
While major credit cards are generally accepted at most larger stores, restaurants and hotels, it isn’t uncommon for a smaller business to be Euro only. Just keep in mind, you will rely on cash much more than you may have in the United States. Also, it is helpful to have smaller bills for smaller purchases. ATMs are readily available, called cajero automático in Spain. Make sure your debit card/credit cards have the cirrus or plus logo on them (most Visa or MasterCard cards will have one). Cards with this logo will work almost everywhere in Europe.
When purchasing items on base, you will find that it is much like the United States—credit cards, checks and U.S. dollars are accepted.
Navy Federal Credit Union is the only U.S. bank on base and they provide three ATMs there as well. Checks from U.S. banks are accepted at the Navy Exchange and commissary. There are two Spanish banks on base, BBVA and Banco Popular.
To view top Euro (EUR) exchange rates, click below. Note that this is the official exchange rate and is not the rate that you will receive when you exchange dollars for Euros at Navy Federal, a bank or money exchange off-base, withdraw Euros from an ATM, etc. It might be a good idea for you to Google the “exchange rate in Rota” for that information.
To learn more about currency in Spain, please visit the links on this page:
Currency Converter – EUR to USD
World Atlas – Spanish Currency
Castilian Spanish is the official national language of Spain and the predominant language spoken in 99% of the country, Rota included. There are other regional languages that exist in Spain as well and contribute to the rich cultural diversity of the country. You’ll find that many non-English speaking Spaniards in Rota have a general understanding of English. Most native Spaniards that you meet will not speak fluent English. We recommend spending some time learning basic questions or greetings in Spanish to further enhance your overseas living experience and to further immerse yourself in Spain’s wonderful history and culture.
To learn more about the Spanish language, please visit the links on this page:
Useful Spanish Words and Phrases
Don Quijote – Languages in Spain